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If the minimum wage had been adjusted for inflation, what would it be?

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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-10-06 08:55 PM
Original message
If the minimum wage had been adjusted for inflation, what would it be?
If it had been adjusted with the same percentage increase as Congressional salaries, what would it be? If it had tracked along with CEO compensation, what would it be? Why do we even to pretend to HAVE a minimum wage since we obviously don't care about tying it to any minimum standard. How can you set a standard without standards?
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-10-06 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. I vote we tie it to highest CEO salary in the Fortune 500.
:)
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iamjoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-10-06 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. I Say We Do Away With The Minimum Wage
it's useless, doesn't keep up with inflation and doesn't provide a living wage for the hundreds of thousands who toil under it. And maybe there's something to the claim that it is contrary to free market principles.

I say, let's pass a law that whatever a company's pay is for entry level workers, the total compensation (including stock options and other bonuses) for their top executives or management cannot be more than 100 times that amount.

So, if you have a few hotels and would like to pay your maids $2 per hour, fine. But you are only going to get $416,000 per year - not millions. Don't tell me how important the CEO is and if (s)he doesn't show up the business shuts down. A hundred maids don't show up and your hotel is going to shut down pretty quick.

No dollar amounts, a percentage, a fair and equitable scale. This would bring us much more in line with a living wage.
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serryjw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-10-06 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. I just started reading this
http://www.conservativenannystate.org /

The one point that I just read was CEO's were amking 50X the lowest paying employee in the compnay and now it's over 500X ( we knew this!) BUT ask yourself WHAT are they now doing that they didn't do 20 years ago? WHY are they worth SO MUCH MORE??
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-10-06 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. I can't answer your question because .......
...... I simply don't know.

What I *do* know is that I prefer the term 'minimum standard of living'. That transcends wages and woujld provide a minimum level of security (not the 'terra' kinda security) to every human in the country. Single, formerly impoverished moms and their kids would be able to live with dignity as would seniors on nothing more than what was social security as would young people just starting out.

Redistribution of wealth? Probably.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-10-06 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. Good site here. A couple of snips (site says updated in 1/06):
http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issueguides_minwage_m...

<snip>

What would the minimum wage be worth today if it had kept its 1979 purchasing power?
If the minimum wage in 1979 had been indexed for inflation, it would be $6.92 today (2004 dollars). In other words, the inflation-adjusted minimum wage is 26% lower today than in 1979.

Why doesn't the minimum wage keep up with inflation?
The minimum wage is not indexed to inflation. It is up to Congress to determine when the minimum wage increases and by how much. Congress has not passed increases to help the minimum wage keep up with inflation. The result is a minimum wage that, when adjusted for inflation, is worth 26% less today than it was in 1979. In fact, $5.15 today is the equivalent of only $4.23 in 1995lower than the $4.25 level before the 1996-97 increase. Therefore, the impact of the last minimum wage increase in 1996-97 has been completely eroded by subsequent inflation. Some advocates would like Congress to pass a law indexing the minimum wage to inflation, but others argue that the minimum wage needs to be raised to an adequate level first (for example, by restoring it to its 1979 level).

<lots more>

http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issueguides_minwage_m...

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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-10-06 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. The premise of your question is flawed.
Even if it was inflation adjusted annually, it still would be the same.

If cost of living goes up because of inflation, say 5%, the minimum wage would go up 5%. It's a wash.

Now adjusted against congressional or CEO's salaries will never happen. "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" that is unrealistic expectation.

I contend minimum wage actually hurts the poor, but I won't waste my time explaining it because last time I did, I was rounded excoriated and demeaned by people who pretty much have the economies acuity of a frozen shrimp.
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G2099 Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-10-06 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
6. Here's one answer
While a living wage helps keep working families above the poverty level, the federal minimum wage ($5.15 an hour) does not keep workers out of poverty. The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage is 26 percent lower today than it was in 1979 and in real dollars$5.15 an hour minimum wage is worth just $4.42. If the minimum wage had just kept pace with inflation since 1968 when it was a $1.60 an hour, minimum wage would be $8.88 an hour in 2005.

http://www.aflcio.org/issues/jobseconomy/livingwages/in...
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